If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t leave your pets behind if the roof were falling in on you. Apparently, Hurricane Katrina has made the government realize that there are a heck of a lot of us out there.
In Louisiana this week, the Judiciary Committee heard Senate Bill No. 607, which requires the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to plan for the evacuation and shelter of domestic animals. It’s the first bill of its kind, but thankfully not the last. The PETS (Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards) Act has started to make its way through Congress. With similar provisions as Bill 607, PETS would make state and local officials responsible for the evacuation and shelter of companion and service animals. The bills are receiving a lot of congressional support, but they could stall when the issue of money is broached—in Louisiana, the cost per evacuation is estimated to be between $1.4 and $1.8 million. But if PETS passes, FEMA will be responsible for a good chunk of funding, and groups like Best Friends Animal Society have pledged to pitch in.
Do your part by calling and e-mailing your senators and representatives and asking them to support PETS.